Monday, July 13, 2020
US flag

Fox Island disappears in the Chesapeake

An island in the Chesapeake Bay that has served as an important educational spot for Maryland’s award-winning environmental science programs is being lost to rising sea levels, the Capital Gazette reports.

Fox Island (Chesapeake Bay Foundation)

Freshmen in the class of 2011 were the first to have environmental science be a high school graduation requirement, and learning in that subject definitely included the Chesapeake Bay and Fox Island. Much of the island is now all but under water, having lost marshland and shallow-water grass beds to erosion and sea level rise over half a century.

“We don’t tell local systems exactly what they must teach. There’s been some concern that we would be dictating a lot, but the standards are very broad,” the Daily Times in Salisbury quoted Bill Reinhard, then a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education, as saying about the new requirement in 2011. “Maryland is so connected to its environment through bays, mountains, and the ocean. This is just a natural progression of what we are already doing. For kids, it’s always a highlight of the school year to be involved in environmental course work.”

But even before environmental science was a graduation requirement, the island had served as a mainstay for environmentally conscious students and teachers.

The Daily News Leader in Staunton, Virginia, called Fox Island “a tiny speck of marshland” back in 2005, a place where the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, a conservation advocacy group, ran a lodge that was just one of four educational centers around the bay. “Environmental education has taken a big jump, just because things have gotten so bad,” the paper quoted Amy Hamilton, then a summer intern with the foundation, as saying.

And how prophetic those words were! This fall is the last season for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Fox Island Education Program, the foundation announced in a blog post last week.

“From its unique perch in the middle of the Chesapeake, we’ve provided life-changing learning experiences for tens of thousands of the watershed’s teachers and students for more than 40 years,” wrote Tom Ackerman, the foundation’s vice president of education.

“Many of them went on to pursue careers in science, public service, education, and environmental advocacy. It’s a testament not only to the magic of the island, but also to the exceptional cast of CBF educators and staffers who stewarded its shores for so long. … Letting it go is hard for all of us.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Voxitatis congratulates the COVID Class of 2020

2020 is unique and, for high school graduates, different from anything they've seen. Proms, spring sports, & many graduation ceremonies are cancelled. Time for something new.

Vertical addition (m3.nbt.2) math practice

3rd grade, numbers and operations in base 10, 2, 3-digit vertical addition practice problem

Rubber ducks (m3.oa.1) math practice

3rd grade, operational and algebraic thinking, 1, rubber ducky modeling practice problem

Distance learning begins as Covid-19 thrives

What we learn during & from coronavirus, a challenging & imminent crisis, will provide insights into so many aspects of our lives.

Calif. h.s. choir sings with social distancing

Performances with the assistance of technology can spread inspiration across the globe even as the coronavirus spreads illness and disease.

Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Although schools are doing what they can to keep students learning and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, that duty now shifts to parents.

Illinois temporarily closes all schools

IL schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, through at least March 30. Schools in 18 states are now closed due to coronavirus.

Coronavirus closures & cancellations

Many schools are closed and sports tournaments cancelled across America during what the president called a national emergency: coronavirus.

Coronavirus closes schools in Seattle

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges to cancel classes, and now Seattle Public Schools became the nation's first large district to cancel classes due to the virus.

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.